Paris Saint-Germain restore their seven-point lead

Reuters, PARIS

Mon, Apr 08, 2013 - Page 18

Paris Saint-Germain’s Jeremy Menez and Zlatan Ibrahimovic struck second-half goals to secure a 2-0 win at Stade Rennais as an understrength side restored a seven-point lead in Ligue 1 on Saturday.

Menez, who has lost his starting role this season, fired home in the 57th minute, before league top scorer Ibrahimovic struck his 26th of the season in stoppage-time as PSG got ready to visit Barcelona in the UEFA Champions league on Wednesday.

PSG have 64 points with seven games left, ahead of Olympique de Marseille, who beat visitors Girondins de Bordeaux 1-0 on Friday.

Rennes, who were fourth before the break last year, have now slipped to 10th.

Fourth-placed OGC Nice stayed on course for a Champions League qualifying spot when Kevin Anin’s stoppage-time goal secured a 4-3 win at Toulouse two minutes after Wissam ben Yedder equalized for the hosts in the 90th minute.

Both teams finished with 10 men after Toulouse’s Ali Ahamada and Alexy Bosetti of Nice were shown straight red cards for dangerous tackles in the final minutes.

Nice have 51 points, two behind third-placed Olympique Lyonnais, who traveled to Stade de Reims yesterday. Montpellier Herault are seventh on 48 points after beating visitors Valenciennes 3-1.

Meanwhile, AS Nancy-Lorraine kept their hopes of survival alive when Romain Grange’s second-half goal gave them a 1-0 win against bottom club ES Troyes AC.

Nancy are now 18th, one point below the safety zone on 30 points, while Troyes have 25 points.

Also on Saturday, SC Bastia thrashed second-from-bottom Stade Brestois 29 4-0, while AC Ajaccio held Sochaux-Montbeliard to a goalless draw.

Additional reporting by staff writer